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The University of Alabama

Four UA Students Named National Hollings Scholars

(Left to right) Cameron W. Bolt, Kaylan N. Gee, Jessica R. Duke, Matthew S. Kelley

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Four University of Alabama students have received National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarships for 2010.

The four students are among 121 students nationwide awarded the scholarship this year.

Nineteen UA students have been named Hollings Scholars since the inception of the scholarship in 2005.

“These are excellent students, and they are very excited about winning this award,” said Dr. Gary Sloan, professor of microbiology and coordinator of prestigious scholarships and awards in UA’s Honors College.

The scholarships provide $8,000 per year for full-time study during the junior and senior years and $6,500 for a 10-week internship at NOAA or a NOAA-approved facility during the summer between the junior and senior years.

The Hollings Scholarship Program, administered by NOAA, is designed to improve undergraduate training in oceanic and atmospheric science, research technology, and natural resource education; increase public understanding of environmental stewardship; and improve scientific and environmental education in the United States.

Sloan said UA students in the past have interned in Hawaii, California, Miami and Washington, D.C.

Students studying biological and agricultural sciences, physical sciences, mathematics, engineering, computer and information sciences, social and behavioral sciences and teacher education are eligible to apply.

The students selected are Cameron Bolt, Jessica Duke, Kaylan Gee and Matthew Kelley.

Cameron Bolt

Bolt, a sophomore from Prattville, is majoring in management information systems in the Culverhouse College of Commerce and Business Administration.

He has been working with Dr. David Hale, director of UA’s Management Information Systems programs and UA’s Aging Infrastructure Systems Center of Excellence, to create a decision support model for policy makers for sustainability of the Mobile Bay Watershed Basin. He also is working with Dr. Karen Burgess in UA’s College of Community Health Sciences on an interactive website that deals with childhood obesity.

Bolt is in the Computer-Based Honors Program and the University Honors Program. He is an Honors College Ambassador, an MIS Ambassador, and he mentors fourth graders at Matthews Elementary School.

Jessica Duke

Duke, a sophomore from Trussville, is majoring in chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences.

She has been working with Dr. David Dixon, professor and Robert Ramsay Chair in the College’s department of chemistry, on computational chemistry studies on carbon sequestration. Her goal is to earn a doctorate in chemistry and then work for a national laboratory that approaches environmental issues from a chemical perspective.

Duke is involved with the Computer-Based Honors Program, University Fellows, Gamma Sigma Epsilon and the Lady Tide Club Soccer Team.

Kaylan Gee

Gee, a sophomore from Irmo, S.C., is double majoring in microbiology and Spanish in the College of Arts and Sciences.

She works in the microbial ecology laboratory of Dr. Jennifer Edmonds, an assistant professor in the department of biological sciences. She researches changes in microbial communities in the Talladega National Forest caused by the demise of beaver dams.

Gee is vice president of administration for Kappa Alpha Theta, as well as a member of SGA Judicial Board, Alpha Epsilon Delta and The Other Club. Gee also is a peer mentor for UA’s Honors College Connection, and she volunteers with Impact Alabama’s SaveFirst.

Matthew Kelley

Kelley, a sophomore from Mountain Brook, is majoring in chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences.

He also works with Dixon in the department of chemistry, where he models various catalyzed reactions with transition metal oxides.

Kelley is evaluating the effectiveness of computational techniques in modeling the reactions, as well as searching for catalysts that can provide for cheaper, quicker and greener reactions in various industrial processes.

Kelley is a member of Gamma Sigma Epsilon and the Alabama Academic Quizbowl Team.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.